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SPOTLIGHT ON IRELAND Moving forward RENEWABLE ENERGY


In 2015 147 GW was added to renewable power generating capacity with a spend of $286 Bn. This was made up of mostly onshore wind, solar PV, bio energy and some offshore wind. Wave & tidal is falling behind with the emphasis remaining on its potential rather than its actual contribution.


HOW DO WE GET BOTH WAVE & TIDAL ENERGY TO COMMERCIAL REALITY?


The answer according to Exceedence CEO, Ray Alcorn, is to understand the composition of your energy cost and how each factor interrelates. Only then, can you make decisions on your development steps with measurable bottom line energy costs in mind. At that stage, you can demonstrate that you are credible, competitive and attractive for investment and project finance.


DOING THE MATHS


Ray asks us to think of the usual pie chart with lots of slices for each cost. This can apply to devices or to projects big or small. The problem is that reducing the size of one slice may make another disproportionately bigger. For example, saving CAPEX on a small machine part may cost much more on unplanned Maintenance. What we are trying to achieve overall is a smaller pie and then we can sell many more pies. The only way to understand is to build a techno-financial model of your device and of your projects. Current approaches for financial modelling in renewables projects tend to be costly, and they do not effectively accommodate the ‘big picture’ of the plan. Planning a renewables project – perhaps a new windfarm or wave-energy initiative – often involves hiring someone to carry out financial modelling, or consulting a large management company at a considerable cost.


SOFTWARE SOLUTION


Exceedence have created software for this. It allows transparent input across the supply chain and a ‘helicopter view’ of the model. The tool, which uses international standards, allows projects to be more thoroughly analysed – it means risks can be more effectively identified and addressed and it means projects can be optimised at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. This software has been used by technology developers to select materials, PTO and O&M strategies by project developers for prospecting sites and technologies and by investors to compare projects. The company have published a number of study cases that show the efficiency of the method across the entire renewable energy supply chain.


IN ADDITION


Another use for the technology has been by those making funding applications. Exceedence is used to show the initial levelised cost of energy and how it will decrease throughout the lifetime of the project.


ORIGINATION SCAN/CLICK


Exceedence was spun out of University College Cork in 2016 and funded by NDRC and Enterprise Ireland. The company is currently working with


SCAN/CLICK


Microsoft and the Open Data Incubator to further develop the software and data offering. Currently the software is commercially available in desktop form. In February, a teaser of the cloud based version of the software that we are currently developing will be available. People who have registered will be able to have access to all the updates on our development (software features and datasets included) through their newly launched Forum (see link at end of this article).


NO TIME TO LOSE


Formerly the head of an ocean energy research centre in University College Cork, Alcorn believes that urgency is required to realise the wave & tidal energy technology arguing that “We must see that we are in a race and while we are reducing our costs, other renewables have the same trajectory. We don’t have forever to get this right and we don’t want to be cornered as a niche energy supplier when there are USPs for both wave & tidal.”


Exceedence


WEBSITE


MORE INFO www.wavetidalenergynetwork.co.uk PAGE 31


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